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Analog vs. digital power management at IIC-China

Posted: 22 Mar 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Richard Zhang? Digital Power Management? Zilker Labs? iSuppli? Lehman Brothers?

Once governed by analog solutions, the power management sector is now seeing digital power management products and solutions. According to iSuppli Corp. and Lehman Brothers, the digital power market revenue will reach $168 million in 2006, with the estimated compound annual growth rate exceeding 100% in the coming years.

At the recently concluded 11th Annual International IC-China Conference & Exhibition (IIC-China), Zilker Labs and Texas Instruments (TI) demonstrated their latest solutions targeting the digital power management market.

Jim MacDonald, Zilker Labs' senior product director, shared that digital power is a promising new industry since it features easy configurability and voltage tracking, requires no programming, is easy to sort, and has set limits. "One of our mixed signal management and conversion IC is capable of replacing several chips. For example, our ZL2005 chip can replace a power sorter and controller, a voltage limit setter, and a DC/DC converter. This reduces the number of PCB components and design complexity, and helps speed time to market," MacDonald said.

Wang Jian, analog product marketing director from TI China, said that in simple applications, analog power has its own advantages; however, in high-performance systematic applications which requires multi-control factors and fast real-time response, and manages multi analog systems' power management, it is better to use digital power.

Meanwhile, Intersil President and COO Lou DiNardo commented, "For cost and complexity reasons, digital power is still far away from wide-spread adoption. This is an analog world. We believe analog power solutions will always find their applications."

- Richard Zhang
Electronics Engineering Times-China

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